Is the wave sad?

“We are what’s happening.”

—Ram Dass

I have some questions.

At what point is a rock a rock and not part of a mountain?

How separate does it have to become from the mountain to be a boulder or a pebble?

When is it no longer a chunk of cliff or part of the peak?

Does it have to separate fully, detach, move, roll down the mountain? And what about when it stops? What if it rolls all the way to the bottom , nestles into the base, and settles there? How soon before it’s part of the mountain again? How long does it have to be still? How many other rocks have to fall and fill in the tiny gaps? How much moss needs to grow over it?

Is a cloud part of the sky? Or is it a separate thing that lives in the sky? Condenses, takes form, moves around, changes shape—is it sky? Is it cloud? How much of it has to fall as raindrops before it turns from cloud to rain? And is the rain part of the sky, or is it a misplaced piece of ocean?

Is the wave sad because it’s not distinct from the ocean? That its form is disappearing as soon as it appears? Does it crest and think, ‘Fuck, it’s all over for me now?’ as it drops back into the ocean? Which part of the wave is more wave—the crest or the trough? When does the wave feel most like itself? When does it lose itself?

What is it to lose yourself?

Who I was 20 or 10 or 5 years ago no longer exists. That form is gone.

Is the wave sad because it loved being a wave? Yes.

Is the wave scared because it’s afraid of the ocean? Sometimes.

It grieves and regathers itself and now it is a different wave.

It comes undone and falls to pieces and forgets itself and reforms as something new. Over and over.

The wave is sad when it knows itself to be wave. The wave is free when it knows itself to be ocean.

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